NBPA Exec Dir Billy Hunter Denies Report Of Rift With Derek Fisher
NBPA Exec Dir Billy Hunter disputed a report that indicated there was a rift between himself and union President Derek Fisher. Hunter, in a telephone interview with SportsBusiness Journal late Sunday evening, said he did not confront Fisher about him pushing for players to take a 50-50 split of basketball revenues on Friday morning, hours before talks to end the NBA lockout broke down. In a report published on Saturday, FoxSports.com's Jason Whitlock cited sources as saying that Hunter and "at least one member of the union’s executive committee" confronted Fisher on Friday morning to "make him reassess his 50-50 push" (Liz Mullen, SportsBusiness Journal).
No meeting is scheduled between the league and union, but the "pattern suggests the sides will reconvene this week." They are also scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court "to argue the merits of the NBA's complaint" against the NBPA (USA TODAY, 10/31). It is "almost certain they will return to the bargaining table sometime this week." And "when they do, the final, massive hurdle will be the split of revenue" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 10/31).
A labor deal “is practically done.” The agreement, “in practical terms, is about 95 percent complete.” But it is the last 5% “that is ruining the prospects for labor peace and gradually eroding the NBA season” (N.Y. TIMES, 10/31). This comes after the breakdown of talks on Friday, a day after "both sides expressed optimism they were close to an agreement." NBA Commissioner David Stern: "It's not practical, possible or prudent to have a full season now" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 10/28).